How Do You Know When Someone is Gaslighting You?
I am going to explain in detail another buzzword getting thrown around today. I want to arm you with prime information on what these buzzwords mean, so they are used in the correct context. I would like to introduce to you, gaslighting. Gaslighting along with narcissism are words that are just being thrown around for almost every issue that someone has with another person. What is more disturbing is that people who gaslight and are narcissists suspect the other person of gaslighting, but they actually do it as well. I am going to give you the proper definition of gaslighting, how to identify it, and how to handle it.
What is Gaslighting?
In simplest terms, gaslighting is when someone tries to convince you that you are wrong about something, even when you are not. Gaslighting is a tactic in which a person or entity manipulates another person in the hopes of acquiring power over them. It’s a very effective tactic, because it is a form of manipulation that leads to someone questioning their own reality, and in doing so, not questioning the motives and actions of the person gaslighting them.
Signs of Gaslighting
There are many signs of gaslighting, but first I am going to give you some example phrases that when someone gaslights you use:
- I think you need help
- That was never my intention
- You are remembering it wrong
- Just forget about it now
- Stop being so dramatic
- You are way too emotional
- Can’t you take a joke?
These are just a few examples. Let’s dissect each one.
‘I Think You Need Help’
This is a very deceiving line. While it may come off as a genuine concern, it usually isn’t and it feeds in to the self-doubt you may be already experiencing, and a distraction from their own issues.
‘That was never my intention’
This one is MAJOR. I akin this one to “I’m sorry you feel that way.” These are non-apologies. It takes the heat off of the gaslighter and deflects the issue, and is rather toxic. It is clearly an indication of failed communication. Non-apologies are toxic.
‘You are remembering it wrong’
This one, along with a couple others, such as “you are just imaging that” and “if you were listening”, are a play on your sanity. This stops someone in their tracks in the ability to present their viewpoint due to the perversion of reality that the gaslighter has created.
‘Just forget about it now’
It’s a complete and blatant sidetrack. Avoiding a problem doesn’t mean it’s forgotten. Ignoring problems is unhealthy. These problems stay present because you lose the ability to talk to them at a conscious level. This is exactly what they want.
‘Stop Being So Dramatic’ and ‘You Are Way Too Emotional’
This one is a gaslighter favorite. This one is a tricky one to navigate, because we all know some people who actually BE very dramatic or overly emotional. Let’s tackle this one with care.
‘Can’t You Take a Joke’
Here is a perfect example, is when the gaslighter suggests hurtful things or causes harm, only to call it a joke later on. They may comment on something they don’t like about you, and when it upsets you, they call it a joke.
A gaslighter is an expert at identifying the supposed deficiencies in another person, and hardly ever acknowledges or takes personal responsibility for the impact of their own statements or behavior.
How to Handle Being Gaslighted
The best way to handle this is to be able to recognize it, not giving them control, standing up for yourself, and leaving the conversation.
Pay close attention and be aware of what they are saying and doing. Have the strength in and belief in yourself to not allow yourself to be torn down by being gaslighted.
Lastly, be okay with not trying to win with the gaslighter. You are not going to win because you can’t reach them at a conscious level and their warped perception of reality.
Do you experience this? Is it possible that you gaslight your loved ones?
Book a session at DEEP3R1.com for tools on how to overcome it. DEEP3R1 helps you become a better you to become a better partner.